Capitol Alert

Sen. Kamala Harris endorses George Soros-backed Sacramento DA challenger

Prosecutor Noah Phillips, who is running against District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, says the allegations are a politically motivated offensive to derail his campaign.
Prosecutor Noah Phillips, who is running against District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, says the allegations are a politically motivated offensive to derail his campaign. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Sen. Kamala Harris and billionaire philanthropist and hedge fund manager George Soros appear to be aligned politically in the Sacramento County district attorney's race.

Harris on Monday endorsed a local prosecutor challenging incumbent Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who has come under fire by protestors in the wake of the Stephon Clark shooting.

The challenger is Noah Phillips, a Democrat and county prosecutor who has similar views as Harris on the issue of racial bias in policing. Another thing they have in common is support from Soros, also a prominent backer of of liberal causes.

Soros backed Harris in her 2016 Senate run, donating $5,400 to her campaign. And he's a contributed heavily to Phillips, who has taken in more than $350,000 this month alone to take on Schubert, a moderate Republican. She has faced backlash and protests with activists urging her to file charges against the officers who in March shot and killed Clark, who was unarmed.

Soros in recent years has become a major contributor to local district attorney candidates who believe in reducing racial disparities in law enforcement. Politico reported in 2016 that among his goals is "reshaping the American justice system."

Phillips this past weekend said there has been a "failure in leadership" under Schubert, noting he'd undertake a review of law enforcement practices to address racial bias, if elected. Harris had a similar message at a Sacramento town hall last month, when she said battling implicit bias must be a priority in law enforcement.

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RAPE KIT BACKLOG: Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, and Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, hold a press conference at 11 a.m. today urging support for their bills that would require law enforcement agencies to speed testing of rape kits, and for the state to conduct an audit of all untested evidence.

They'll be joined by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley and activists pushing for an end to California's rape kit backlog.

The press conference begins at 11 a.m. in Room 1190 of the Capitol.

BROWN FOR BECERRA: Gov. Jerry Brown stumps for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in the latest ad in the state attorney general's race.

"He's the right man at the right time," Brown says in the 30-second ad, noting Becerra's moves over the past 18 months taking on the Trump administration on health care, immigration and environmental protection.

It's not surprising that Brown is campaigning in support of Becerra – he appointed him to the position, giving him the advantage of incumbency in his first statewide campaign. But fellow Democrat Dave Jones, currently the state's insurance commissioner, is putting up a fight.

The two are set to debate, along with the two Republicans in the race, in Downey. The event begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Southern California Gas Company Energy Resource Center, at 9240 Firestone Blvd., Downey.

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